Journal article

Wildfire in wet sclerophyll forests: the interplay between disturbances and fuel dynamics

Jane G Cawson, Thomas J Duff, Matthew H Swan, Trent D Penman

ECOSPHERE | WILEY | Published : 2018

Abstract

There are multiple pathways for vegetation to change following disturbances. Understanding those post-disturbance pathways is critical for managing wildfire risk since vegetation is fuel in a wildfire context. Across forest systems, there is considerable debate about disturbance-related changes to fuels and flammability. This study investigated post-disturbance fuel trajectories following three disturbance types—high severity wildfire, low severity wildfire, and clear-fell logging. Fuels were measured in a chrono-sequence of 141 sites in Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans)-dominated wet sclerophyll forest in southeastern Australia, a particularly contentious forest system. Wildfires are an imp..

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Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was part of a project titled "Managing bushfire in Tall Mist Forests-fuel hazard and moisture relationships." Funding was also received from a partner project "Relationships between flora, fauna, habitat attributes and vegetation growth stages in Victorian Tall Wet Forests."Both projects were managed within the Integrated Forest Ecosystem Research program, a research program conducted by the University of Melbourne and funded by the Victorian Government's Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning (DEWLP). We acknowledge the support received from DEWLP, Parks Victoria and Melbourne Water to conduct this research. We gratefully acknowledge and thank Simon Murphy, April Gloury, Peter Mercouriou, Naomi Davis, Geofe Cadiz, and Tom Fairman for their efforts in the field undertaking measurements for this research; and two anonymous reviewers for valuable comments on the manuscript.